"Reconciliation" Contest Winners / December 2014 (Issue 26)

Miss Min's Monday Morning Magic

by Robert Perchan

2,000,000 years into human evolution,
Deok-hee "Ducky" Min of Pusan, South Korea,
discovers, while toweling off after a hot shower,
that the Homo sapiens nose is detachable.
A soft click, at first, right between her cheeks
where bone locks into bone to form her face.
Then a slight sucking sound as the nose
pulls away from its tender bed of pink flesh.
She stares at it a moment, nestled in the folds
of her towel. Turns it over with the awe
and fascination of a mother's wonderment
at the precious appendages of her neonate.
The flared nares. The celestial upturned slope
ending in a tip a little more pointed than
she would have expected. The tiny mole
on the left side. Gingerly she lifts it up
to the center of her face and with a nudge
of her thumb clicks it back in place again.
Alone in the world with this delicious
new knowledge, on the cross-town bus
to work she sees herself on a tv talk show,
passing her nose around an astonished panel
of movie stars, pop singers and fashion models.
Later a personal interview with the new lady
President of the Republic. A rare private
audience with the Dalai Lama. An envoy
from Secretary-General of the UN
Ban Ki-moon inviting her to assume
the throne as Empress of the Universe.
Or, perhaps, dispatched on a Secret Mission
of Peace to that Supreme Leader—pudgy,
murderous, nose-thumbing Kim Jong Un.
Robert PerchanThis is a Finalist of Cha's "Reconciliation" Poetry Contest. Robert Perchan on "Miss Min's Monday Morning Magic": I don't think I had any inkling where I was going when I began this poem. By definition you don't — if you hope to end up somewhere surprising. Perhaps I was subconsciously channeling one of the eight zillion Madonna and Child paintings I saw in Europe last year — it's hard to say. I'm sure I was trying to be playfully voyeuristic — but peeping at a lovely woman at her bath goes back at least to David and Bathsheba. My wife has a faint mole on the left side of her nose — and I'm sure that’s where that came from. The fact that Miss Min's nose is "detachable" and for a few brief minutes becomes a Cherished Other is just a bit of craziness — perhaps it owes something to Gogol. At any rate I shudder to think what Freud would say. Miss Min is clearly a working girl and naturally has dreams of glamour and fame and success — just like the rest of us weary drudges. To bring peace, reconciliation and reunification to the Korean peninsula is of course at this time the ultimate fantasy. It seems impossible. And then again quite impossibly the Berlin Wall came down. The sooner the political aspect of the poem becomes history, the better. [Read Jason Lee's commentary on "Miss Min's Monday Morning Magic"] [Back to "Reconciliation"]
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